Monday, August 25, 2014

Staying in Alta Loma

your emails always make me giggle. I love hearing about your family and am anxious to be with them eventually. I keep wishing we could skype more often, but 2 times a year makes every minute so tender, which I love.
Well, we are staying another 6 weeks in Alta Loma, thankfully. I would've been devastated if I had left! I mean, it's gonna happen eventually, but I do love where I serve. Stake Conference was so great! It was like a mini general conference because the Upland stake got to hear from him 3 times this weekend, while all the other missionaries only got to hear from him that morning! Cool huh? Elder Nelson has good eye sight. He is 90 years old and is reading from the quad perfectly without glasses!!! Dad can't even read my scriptures and he's 35 years younger than Elder Nelson! All apostles have a great sense of humor, I realize. He had a lot of good things to say, especially about Obedience. It's seriously so key to missionary work, wow!
I can't believe Brighton is starting preschool! Ahh! I miss out on a few things I don't want to, but I know the sacrifice will always be worth it, especially if i'm in Alta Loma (: I just gotta let you know how much I LOVE Sister Rich in the ward. I'm not sure if you remember her, but we skyped at her house. We've become great friends throughout my time here. She said reflecting on my time here, i'm doing a great job here, which I was happy to hear. I also have good news that I called to be the new district leader! Sister Rich congratulated me on that and am happy to have the Rich's support even though they're not in our district ha. They're a great family! I want you to meet them so badly. They're driving to McCall Idaho this weekend for Labor day, but they probably don't have time to stop in Brigham "/ Maybe next time they go to Utah!
Well, our investigators are doing good! Martha sang in the stake choir, so I don't really understand why she isn't baptized haha. Also, Gabby came! I need you to add her on facebook. She says you haven't accepted her friend request ha.
But yes, we're busy here and I love it. Alta Loma will always have a special place in my heart because it's steered me so much closer to the Lord through the joy I find in serving here. It's a great area with so much potential, we're just having a tough time finding those who are ready to be baptized; it'll happen eventually I know it! Oh hey, do you remember Patrick from Hesperia? He's getting baptized in September!!! pretty cool (:
Well that's about it for now. We got a lot ahead of us and we are anxious to get out and serve our fellow man. I love you so much! Have a great week!
Elder Bennion

Aug 18th Email

You went to the concert?! How exciting. To be honest, it pressed on my mind often. My day was actually fairly tough. Satan was working on me hard! all 3 of our appointments cancelled but I tried so hard to be diligent. Funny story though: There was a lady walking 2 dogs and we started talking to her. Turns out they aren't hers, but she found them and is going door to door trying to find the owner. Sometimes I do not think and I offered to take the dogs because we were planning on tracting anyway and then I could use them as a way to start conversations with people. Well let me tell you what. That was a nightmare. I was just trying to do a good thing and it completely backfired haha! It says in the white handbook we aren't to have any pets, but I thought we would get rid of them by that evening, but unfortunately we had them for 2 days, and that second night the pitbull would not stop barking and I slept terribly hahah. Looking back on it, I cannot believe I thought it was a good idea. So that's my story on service. Luckily the owners claimed them 2 days later because they put up a lost dog sign all over a street called Sapphire and somehow they showed up at Brother Wilson's.
Other than Wednesday, this was a great week! We gave Silke a Book of Mormon and she said "I will tell you what: leave me your contact information and if I ever become a believer, I will personally contact you and let you know". I just love Silke so much, she's one of my favorite people here. And then we visit a lady named Claudia (we're definitely coming back to California to visit her) and everytime we come over, she teaches me spanish. I can pray in Spanish and can introduce us as missionaries and ask if you would like to hear a message about how the gospel has been restored. It's a fun language, and it is super useful here in California.
I gotta tell you, Alta Loma is seriously so great. Baptisms are on hold right now, but i'm strangely alright with that. I love talking to people on the street. It's great! Sister Hobbs says I have the reputation amongst the mission to talk with everyone, so i'm pretty pumped on that. I love this area, it's just going so well for me. The members are great and so are the people. Especially Bryan and Heather! Finally after 4.5 months, they came to church!!! It was awesome. I hope to work with them more closely.
This is the last week of the transfer, but there is good news! This weekend Russell M. Nelson is going to be speaking to the missionaries!!! Stake Conference is here this weekend and i'm so pumped. We get to hear from him 3 separate times this weekend, it'll be awesome. Missions are great, they're an awesome time. I love being out here.
I also love you guys so much, don't get me wrong. I'm glad to hear everything is great back home. Enjoy the summer while it lasts! Miss you guys!
Elder Bennion

Monday, August 11, 2014

Email to Dad

Last week was crazy so I apologize for not emailing. Sister Rich in the ward was telling me all about the Ogden open house and how she wants to go. I don't remember the Nauvoo one much, and when the Brigham open house was here, I was certainly not in the right mindset, so it wasn't as spiritual to me, so I look forward to attending an open house eventually. Speaking of temples, I found out we get to go on September 25th to the Redlands temple and I am so excited! The Nowa's in the ward are taking us and I love them so much, so we're looking forward to that day. I love going in a new temple, oh man.

The Mt. Baldy project was probably my favorite service project i've been involved in. There were about 50 missionaries there, and as I caught myself thinking like Ammon, I was joyous to see this to a degree. It was awesome to see the church was the first to respond to this, wow! It got to the point where the San B fire department had asked us what they can help us with, pretty neat huh? I don't mean to boast, but the church is so stinkin' cool in how service oriented it is.

Have you ever read over your patriarchal blessing and caught yourself experiencing a certain part word for word? We taught a very spontaneous 16 year old about the Book of Mormon and she was very hasty at first wondering why God lets bad things happen. Within a half hour, she was so intrigued to our conversation and Elder Boltz and I responded through the spirit with compassion and she accepted a Book of Mormon gladly. I bore her my testimony of Jesus Christ and it brought tears to both hers and my eyes. My patriarchal blessing said that the spirit will enter in and people will know of my genuine testimony of the Savior and I feel as though I just witnessed that, and WOW! It was a neat experience.

So we currently have no baptismal candidates haha! Of all the 5 baptisms people have accepted, they've all fallen through haha! At the time it's not funny, but it never did say in my call that i'd baptize anyone, so I need to feel less entitled. The missionary work is fun to do anyway. Stressful at points, but beyond satisfying.
With each companion I get, the work gets even better, it's really awesome. I truly love serving in Alta Loma though. I've been here for 4 months, believe it or not. I love the members so much and I have loved interacting with the non-members here and the investigators we do have. I love this area so much, my goodness.

Well, We have a really good week ahead of us actually. I'm looking forward to all the adventures that come my way. Thanks for filling me in on life. Enjoy the open house (: I love you so much dad, thanks for helping me get here!

Elder Bennion

A little bit about Elder Boltz (this is from an email from Shawn, to Ben and KoriAnn)
Let me finally address things between Elder Boltz and I because I do neglect that a bit ha. We work really well together! He's definitely a new missionary, but I am impressed with how well he is progressing and am excited to be serving together. We get a lot done and we are always working on our exact obedience to see miracles. We saw many this week and it's always super neat to see those. He's from South Willard, loves running, Spongebob, art, and snowboarding. We haven't had really any problems, and for a month, that is pretty darn good!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Service & Information on Investigators

Email to MomI apologize that we didn't get to email yesterday, there was a HUGE mudslide in Mt. Baldy so we gave up our P day to help out these people. We may have potentially made it on the news haha! Elder Larson made it in the newspaper! Not that we need recognition, but there were about 40 missionaries there yesterday, and they responded much quicker than the San Bernardino fire department. Oh man, it feels good to be apart of such a service oriented church!
But anyway, this week was a bit rough, but apparently a lot of missionaries had the same experience. We're having a hard time meeting with our investigators! It's frustrating, but I trust the timing will work in ours and their favor.
I wish I had more to say other than the fact that my mission is great and that I am always so inspired when we have a zone meeting about submitting everything to God. I'm so happy to know that I have every single second of my day for 2 years to be steered towards others. It's not always going to be like that and that saddens me, but what an opportunity this is!
It rained here this weekend (hence the mudslide) and I was so happy about it ha. It barely ever rains here "/ It's rained 3 times since i've been here! How's your summer been? I keep hoping so hard the theater picks up, It makes me sad to hear how the world is and how everything is profane and unappealing to the culture we have in Utah. It's such a great place where innocence is more achievable than other states. Not living in it makes me realize how much I love it!
Well, hopefully this week will hold much more interesting stories. Know that I love you a ton and hope that everything back home is going well. I had a terrible dream last night that someone bombed the U.S. and I woke up and it felt so real. My stomach was in knots! So it makes me happy to know everything is okay haha. Either way, I love you! Miss you Mom (:
Elder Bennion
p.s. i'm sending a letter home, but could you send it to Uncle Jayson? Idk his address. You are welcome to read it, but if you could send it his way, that'd be awesome!
Email to Ben and KoriAnn
Boy do I love your emails! They always make me laugh as you resemble our Father in the best possible way. It's awesome how our parents can be such a good ally to our testimonies, Dad definitely has played a large role in mine! I see how much a woman can do for a man, and I know that mom got dad serious about the church, and unfortunately, that's just what happens with guys haha! We need you around, that's for sure.
We kinda had a boring week! All 4 of our investigators cancelled this Saturday ha, it was ridiculous! That's Satan for you. We kinda dropped Jessica because she's scared to convert ): But she did tell us in all sincerity how we did accomplish so much at her house and we taught her how to see God in her life again. I do think one day she will be a member of the church, just not right now. She needs to get things settled between her and her boyfriend and the rut they're in is not something missionaries should know about. It involves the help from a bishop.
Ricky has been slightly uncommitted. We should see him this week though!
We picked up a guy named Sean and he's been pretty cool.
We kinda teach a girl named Gabby, and she would easily get baptized, but she is terrified of her anti-mormon sister. Ugh, I had anti material haha!
My mission is great though! Oh man. We just did a 7 hour service project yesterday which took over our P day, but man, it was so great. I love service so so much. There was a huge mudslide and cars and houses were packed with mud, to the point it reached their doors and broke through their windows so we had to dig out cars and doors, and man, nature is ruthless sometimes! I wish I had more to report on, but it was kind of a slow week. We're finally picking up Brian and Heather again!!! ahh!!! i'm so excited. They're such a cool couple. I'll have to let you know what's new with them.
I guess that's all for now, I love you so much though and am happy to hear things are great for your family! Oh man, they warm my heart (: Miss you!
Elder Bennion